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3i6                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                CHAP.
The Capture of Farrahabad and the Capitulation of
Julfa.—The Ghilzai chief was not a great conqueror,
although he overthrew an empire which ranked high in
the world. After the battle he retired to his entrench-
ments and there remained wholly inactive, even allowing
the Persians to return to the battlefield and take away
their lost guns. He had apparently decided to retire.
His spies, however, reported the panic that prevailed in
the capital, and when he realized the true position he
regained his courage and advanced on Isfahan. Some
three miles from the city lay Farrahabad, built as a fort
by Shah Husayn and strongly held ; but instead of using
the position to delay the Afghans, the Persians in their
alarm withdrew the garrison. Julfa, situated on the
right bank of the Zenda Rud, was next attacked. The
Armenians offered a stout resistance and applied for
reinforcements to the Vali of Arabia, who had been
promoted to the supreme command. Owing to fanaticism
or treachery he refused all aid ; a breach was effected and
the Armenians capitulated. They were ordered to pay,
the equivalent of £140,000 in money and to surrender
fifty of their most beautiful virgins, and to both conditions
they consented.
The Investment of Isfahan.—Mahmud's army encamped
opposite the bridges over the Zenda Rud and occupied
the beautiful palaces and gardens erected by the Safavi'
monarchs and their nobles. The direct opening attack
on Isfahan was an attempt to secure possession of one of
the stately bridges over the Zenda Rud. At first
Mahmud failed, but in a second effort he was carrying
the bridge when Ahmed Aga, a white eunuch, came to
the rescue and beat back the Afghans. Discouraged by
this failure, Mahmud was prepared to treat on condition
that Kandahar, Khorasan, and Kerman should be handed
over to him in independent sovereignty, and that he
should be given a princess in marriage, with a settlement
in money equivalent to £100,000. These terms were
rejected, and Mahmud, giving up all idea of further
assaults for the time being, set about devastating the
country and laying in supplies for his army. This he